It was on November 30, 1989 when PP, CiU and PNV united their votes to modify the Regulations of the Congress of Deputies and prevent Herri Batasuna’s deputies from taking possession of their seat, with a formula other than “yes, I swear”. or “yes, I promise.” They tried to acquire the status of deputies by putting the formula “by legal imperative” before the oath or promise of the Constitution. The Constitutional Court ended up agreeing with them and in 2004, for the first time since 1977, even the PNV deputies then led by Josu Erkoreka accepted the formula that managed to legalize HB. Also those of ERC, those of BNG, EA and Nafarroa Bai.
Since then, Parliament has left endless variations on the traditional formula for compliance with the Constitution every time the Chambers are formally constituted and a new legislature begins. The XV was not going to be any different: “for the Catalan Republic”, “for the exiles”, “for plurinationality”, “by legal imperative”, “for the Basque Republic”, “for the anti-Franco struggle”, “for the equality” and even “for popular sovereignty and fraternity among peoples, social justice and the Earth”.
Playing with some occurrence has become commonplace the day the Chambers are constituted as usual are the tantrums of the right over this practice and their express request that the Presidency not accept the oaths as good, as if they did not know that all of them conform to the Regulations, are endorsed by the doctrine of the Central Electoral Board and backed by the Constitution, as the recently elected president of Congress, Francina Armengol (PSOE) had to remind them.
The former president of the Balearic Islands was already the third authority of the State at the time of the oaths or promises. She had been elected in the first round. With 178 votes, two more than the absolute majority. A real beating compared to the 139 that the popular Cuca Gamarra added and the 33 of Ignacio Gil Lázaro (Vox). Armengol had the support of the entire left and of the Catalan, Basque and Galician nationalists, after an agreement between the PSOE and the Catalan independence movement was forged at dawn.
After eight in the morning, Junts announced a principle in agreement with those of Pedro Sánchez. And shortly after ERC did it. Both in similar terms and with special emphasis on the commitment of the Socialists to promote the use of the co-official languages in Congress. For this reason, in her first speech as president, Armengol already announced that she would allow the use of Catalan, Galician and Euskera from “this moment”, despite the fact that the PSOE had repeatedly voted against this practice. Because it has always been said that it required a modification of the Regulations of the Chamber, which has the rank of organic law, and because the Chamber requires a complex administrative infrastructure to put it into practice. The Socialists now defend that a regulatory change is not required and that the Board will now have to articulate formulas to start implementing the use of the co-official languages. In the end, the Socialists recall, the majority of the Table has been saved, just as the dialogue table between the Government and the Generalitat was saved, with the encouragement of the co-official languages.
The PSOE has also promised to promote a commission of investigation into the alleged espionage of the leaders of the procés through Pegasus, a new edition of the Kitchen and another on the jihadist attacks in Catalonia in 2017. There is no explicit commitment, however However, to promote an amnesty for politicians and activists with pending cases for the 1O.
It wasn’t that easy and nobody took it for granted
The fact is that all the votes for the Table of Congress hold surprises and this Wednesday could not be less. For the overwhelming victory of the left in the distribution of the posts on the Table and for the rupture of the right-wing bloc. It was not so easy and no one dared to take it for granted that this Wednesday the PSOE would take over the presidency of the Chamber. They have been days of discreet negotiations, to various bands and without leaks that could derail the agreement. Only the tranquility and reserve that the Socialists projected during this last week made it foreseeable that Sánchez has not yet lost the luck that has accompanied him since he came to politics.
Nobody expected that PP and Vox would divide their vote after those of Feijóo refused to reach an agreement with those of Abascal to give them a position in the governing body of the Lower House. It is the first time, therefore, that the third political force in Parliament is left without representation in the Table. What happened until you got to that frame? The versions are various, but the most credible is that those of the PP thought until Tuesday night that Junts would not reach an agreement with those of Sánchez and that they were in a position to take over the presidency of the Chamber. In that case, they had no reservation to cede a position to Vox. Only when they were aware of the agreement of the left with those of Puigdemont, they informed Abascal that they would keep the four positions that correspond to them in the government body.
The most voted on 23J and the most isolated in the Chamber
This first session of the XV Legislature leaves for history a man who arrived at Carrera de San Jerónimo with 171 votes and left with 139 (PP-UPN-CC). It was the photograph that projected the constitutive session of the Cortes on the leader of the party with the most votes at the polls, but also the most isolated in the parliamentary framework.
Alberto Núñez Feijóo is thus affected by his first contact with the Congress of Deputies because not even Vox, his block ally and government partner in autonomies and municipalities, supported his proposal for Cuca Gamarra to hold the Presidency of the Chamber. A full-blown bump that takes him away from his commitment to a failed investiture. In Genoa they already think about it.
Appearing before Felipe VI with only 139 supports compared to the 178 that the PSOE achieved for the presidency of Francina Armengol, thanks to the decisive support of Junts and without the need for a second vote, is not the best letter of introduction for the head of state to propose as a candidate for an investiture for the presidency of the Government, unless you have forgotten to add or want to make a fool of yourself. “The PP is in a fallacy. Either for internal reasons or because the negotiating team to seek parliamentary agreements is a real disaster”, they say from the left.
Beyond assessments, what is undeniable is that Feijóo is still in a state of shock after 23J and does not know how to get out of a labyrinth that he has only gotten into by first announcing his willingness to stand up to Felipe VI with such arithmetic and after showing an overwhelming self-confidence in the last hours to have 171 votes. Now, Santiago Abascal has already said that supporting a hypothetical investiture of the PP candidate, after the blunder of the distribution of posts in the Table, is very uphill for him. That is why in the constitution of Las Cortes the ultras voted for their own candidate, Ignacio Gil Lázaro.
In addition to complying with the usual liturgy, the session served for the electoral results to become mortal meat, but also for the left to reap its first victory in the legislature and for the PP to verify that its pyrrhic victory at the polls will be useless to reach the government.
The pact with the independence movement paves the way for Sánchez to present himself for an investiture and to later articulate a government. The task will not be easy, despite the fact that both ERC and Junts have wrested some written commitments from the PSOE before setting up the Congress Table. Puigdemont, from Waterloo, has already warned that this Wednesday’s agreement must be separated from the negotiation for the Presidency of the Government and that his demands continue to be amnesty and self-determination. The only certainty is that either Sánchez is sworn in or there will be an electoral repetition, something that the left already anticipated the same night of 23J.
Beyond the fact that Junts separates this decision from the investiture vote, the PSOE and Sumar have shown a great capacity to gather the necessary majority while the PP is clearly weakened and Feijóo’s leadership within the PP seems uncertain. There is no doubt that the plan to reissue the Sánchez government has passed the first litmus test and with a high note. Once again, Sánchez surprises locals and strangers.
How to stop the lies
The 23J campaign has made clear the tremendous importance of the free press, which depends on its readers and owes nothing to anyone else. The vast majority of the big media are owned by banks, funds and large communication groups. The vast majority of them have whitewashed the ultras and are under the control of the agenda set by the right.
That is why we ask for your support. We need to grow. Hire more journalists. Reinforce our local editions against the lies of the local and regional governments of the extreme right. Sign up more investigative reporters. We need to reach more people, build a bigger newspaper, capable of countering the brutal wave of conservative propaganda that we are going to face. And that will leave small what we have experienced in this dirty electoral campaign.
If you care about the future of this country, support us. Today we need you more than ever because our work is more necessary than ever. Become a member, become a member, of elDiario.es.